The Little But Really Useful Guide to Creativity

My name is Leo Babauta, and I’m the creator and writer of Zen Habits. I’m married with six kids, I live in San Francisco (previously on Guam), I’m a writer and a runner and a vegan. Read more: My Story.

The Little But Really Useful Guide to Creativity

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” – Albert Einstein

It’s easier than ever to be creative, to create, to imagine and make what’s imagined become reality.

It’s also tougher than ever, with distractions surrounding us in ways never before imagined.

No matter what kind of creative type you are — writer, painter, musician, marketer, blogger, photographer, designer, parent, business owner — you are likely always looking for inspirations, for ways to let loose your creative genius.

And while there are millions of creativity tips on the Internet, I thought I’d share the ones I’ve found most useful — the ones that I’ve tried and tested and found to be right.

Here they are, in no order at all:

  • Play.
  • Don’t consume and create at the same time — separate the processes.
  • Shut out the outside world.
  • Reflect on your life and work daily.
  • Look for inspiration all around you, in the smallest places.
  • Start small.
  • Just get it out, no matter how crappy that first draft.
  • Don’t try for perfect. Just get it out there, asap, and get feedback.
  • Constantly make it better.
  • Ignore the naysayers.
  • But let criticism help you grow.
  • Teach and you’ll learn.
  • Shake things up, see things in new ways.
  • Apply things in other fields to your field, in ways not done before.
  • Drink ridiculous amounts of coffee.
  • Write all ideas down immediately.
  • Turn your work into play.
  • Play with kids.
  • Get out, move, see new things, talk to new people.
  • Read wildly different things. Especially stuff you disagree with.
  • Get lots of rest. Overwork kills creativity.
  • Don’t force it. Relax, play, it will start to flow.
  • Allow your mind to wander. Allow distractions, when you’re looking for inspiration.
  • Then shut them off when you’re going to create.
  • Do it when you’re excited.
  • When you’re not, find something else to be excited about.
  • Don’t be afraid to be stupid and silly.
  • Small ideas are good. You don’t need to change the world — just change one thing.
  • When something is killing your creativity, kill it.
  • Stop reading creativity advice, clear away everything, and just create.
  • Most of all, have fun doing it.

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll

Post written by Leo Babauta.

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My Life Starts When My Eyes Close ~

Do you ever feel like your life starts when your eyes close. I do. It’s when every single thing in my life is left up to my imagination. I can play dress up and live anything my mind is willing to create. I just let go of who I am and become what I chose.

I remember as far back as 7 years old, when I loved to go to bed just to enter into my imagination. It was a sense of freedom which was safe and full of adventure. I would create scenarios in my mind and see where I was willing to take them. I wasn’t trying to escape from somewhere I didn’t want to be, it was like playing dress up with endless possibilities! After a while its like an orchestrated dance, everything just flows naturally. Its like an alternate reality. Drifting off into your imagination before you slip into a deep sleep is one of my favourite things to do. And when done to the music of Enya it’s simply fantastic!

Albert Einstein

I am a dreamer, surrounded by fluff and clouds, it’s who I am. At times I wear rose coloured glasses and I like it that way. I dream vividly and love the feeling when I wake, having escaped into another world that I cannot control. When my eyes open, my imagination sits and waits for its turn to recreate where it left off. It follows me, seeping into my day to day without notice. My brief smile, far away stare or moment of peace is the only sign it leaves behind.

Our imaginations are being set aside and lost in our world of reality. For our imaginations to flourish we need to use them or we will forget how. Imagine that!

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‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Toltec Wisdom’ ~

I have been reading The Compete Idiot’s Guide to Toltec Wisdom for the last couple of months and absolutely LOVE it! Its one of those books that after you complete it you can use it as a reference and go back to different chapters depending on what you need to revisit. I admit I have had it since Christmas and kept saying I didn’t have time to read it. (subconscious excuse) I now make the time to read it because I guess I am ‘ready’ for it…finally! It makes perfect sense to me! The author, Dr Sheri Rosenthal puts Toltec Wisdom in simple terms (hence the title ‘idiot’s’ guide) it’s easily understood.

This book has really provokes deep thought and forces you to ask yourself if you’re really getting everything out of your life as it is now. It’s definitely changed the way I think about certain aspects of my life. It makes more sense. This book has given my life new meaning and understanding.

Here are a few excerpts from the book.

“Once we have awareness, we have choice. If we could have that awareness all the time, we could change our routines, change our reactions, and change our entire life. Once we have the awareness, we recover free will, in any moment we can choose to remember who we are.” ~ don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love

We become Warriors once we are able to see our fears as nothing more than smoke. Taking action and having absolute faith in that action is the only way to vanquish fear. Fear never immobilizes a Warrior; we face our fears and move forward.”

“Silent Knowledge is all the information and wisdom that exists as universal consciousness that we all are connected to, but have long forgotten how to use or access.”

“Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself” ~ don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

If you would like to purchase this book just click on it to make it easy!

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Svaha Spirit Series ~Think Different~

tracy-pic3Think Different ~Apple~

The one-minute commercial featured black and white video footage of significant historical people of the past, including (in order) Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon, R. Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso. The commercial ends with an image of a young girl, Shaan Sahota opening her closed eyes, as if to see the possibilities before her.”

Tracy signiture

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